Set in 1946-48, this biopic captures Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, one of the most well known Latin American poets, over a little more than a year in his life on the run from Chile’s police after a public speech accusing Chile’s government of corruption and a violation of human rights in its treatment of miners on strike. The police seek to use him as an example to shut down the uprising Communist Party movement. Gael García Bernal plays Inspector Oscar Peluchonneau leading the search for Neruda, whose investigation may be compromised by his appreciation of the beloved writer.
The trailer promises a beautifully crafted, high octane portrait of a party fuelled time and place where sexuality and freedom was rising. Since his role in Michel Gondry’s The Science of Sleep (2007), Bernal has been a favourite of mine. His comical and rounded performance is being considered by critics as one of his best, and the film has been put forth as Chile’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. The film is directed by Chilean Pablo Larraín who recently released his very well received English language debut Jackie starring Natalie Portman. Larraín previously cast Bernal in 2012’s No which was also nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The screenplay – which looks to really bring life to the story – was written by Guillermo Calderón who also worked with Larraín on 2015’s The Club. The cast also includes Luis Gnecco as Neruda, Alfredo Castro, Pablo Derqui, Mercedes Morán and Emilio Gutierrez Caba.
Following the film’s warm reception in the Directors’ Fortnight section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Neruda received a limited theatrical release in the US in December, and will be released in the UK at some point in early 2017. You can watch the trailer below.
Mercedes Morán and Luis Gnecco in Neruda